Confessions of Fake Former Shopping Addict

I know a lot of you out there have, at least once in your life, experienced a shoppers-high. Don’t know what I mean? After I explain, I’m sure you will.

Shopper’s High: The immediate feeling of happiness and splendor after purchasing an item that you’ve wanted, maybe even needed.

Depending on your tolerance, your shoppers high could end exactly one minute and 50 seconds after you’ve left the store or it can last up to a week.  That lovely honeymoon phase of being completely in love with whatever product you’ve justified buying in the first place.  But let’s face it shoppers, you’ve got to come down from your high at some point.

Shopper’s Remorse: Commonly known as buyer’s remorse, this is the feeling of regret or uncertainty over the aforementioned purchase.  Whether you feel it was a waste of hard-earned money or just a mistake, you no longer feel the happiness you once had.

After remorse, some people may simply return the purchase, or decided to budget more wisely around the purchase of the item. Then there are people (like my former self) who fix their low by going out and buying more! Long-live shopper’s high!!  The mission of a shopaholic?  Allow as little possible time to feel shopper’s remorse.  Always bombard it with another shopper’s high!

I was 16 when I was first introduced into shopper’s high over apparel. See, my parents had long stopped buying clothes for me and I was expected to come up with money myself to buy them.  To make some money that wasn’t earned by vacuuming my grandma’s tiny house I ended up getting a job at an outlet style store, branched from a higher-end Seattle-based retailer. I was surrounded by racks and racks of clothes, shelves and shelves of shoes and tons of those spinny-stands full of sunglasses and jewelry.  I was given a paycheck.  The paycheck was all mine. I was surrounded by good brands. Brands that I sometimes got to rifle through before they went on the floor! And best/worst of all, I got a discount.

That’s where it all began.  My love for shopping and my need to feel that high at a constant and eventual alarming pace. The smell of brand-new cotton, the touch of a new cashmere scarf, the shine of brand new patent pumps, the glitter of a sparkling new necklace or the pride of showing off a new handbag. Oooh, baby. I wanted it all, and after that I wanted MORE.  It was quite a few years after first getting that job that I finally stopped shopping as much as I was. But honestly, I was just a teenage girl with an income.  What else was I supposed to do with my time?

Now that I’m older and have more responsibilities and bills and do not work in retail, I’d like to say I have a better handle on whatever shopaholic tendencies I had.  Sure, I still feel a little compelled to spend money every single day but hey! At least I’m not buying sunglasses and bags that are more than the cost of my car payment twice a month, right?!  I’m even so much as sticking to (usually) buying one thing (or sometimes nothing!) when I go into a store.  I actually feel remorse before I buy something these days, if that’s possible.

Then comes the temptation.  Once you’ve started living the clean life you have to face the fact that someone is going to try to bring you down. I met that person just the other day.

The lady at Macy’s decides she wants to make her account quota by trying to sell me a Macy’s card.  Honestly, the thought is tempting but I dare not open one up because I know myself.  I know my past of spending more than I have and I will not go back to that.  I smile and say “No, thank you.” as I continue shopping.

I’m really on a roll today so each time I leave the fitting room I have more stuff for her to hold and I want to look at more/try on more.  She tries again.  I politely decline (yay me!) again.  One more trip through and she asks again.  I’m still smiling (surprisingly) but I flatly say no.

I emerge from the fitting room for the last time with more items and she chases me down.  Brittany! (The worst decision was giving her my name) Brittany! I did the math.  *Points at computer screen*.  I went through and did all the math for the items you have here and how much you would save it you opened a card today and blah blah blah BLAH.

At this point I’m a little irritated as she tells me how she’s NEVER done the math like this before and spent all the time to figure it out! Well, lady, good for you because now I don’t want that card just to spite you!I told you no! Who are you, that dude in 11th grade who just HAD to cop a feel?! I said NO.

I  reject her attempt once again and tell her that now I just want three (out of the original six) items (she’s making me angry enough to drop really good items!).  As she is ringing me up she decides to ask me again to make sure I didn’t want the card.  That’s where I snap, clutching an INC. shirt in hand, eyes bulging from their sockets, jaw clenched as I seethe through my teeth.

Listen, LADY. I am a FORMER shopaholic! I was actually TREATED for shopping addiction! Giving me one of those stupid cards is like handing an alcoholic a SHOT OF WHISKEY.  THIS is why people become shopping addicts in the first place – pushing credit on them! I have come a LONG way to buy just THESE items instead of this WHOLE DAMN DEPARTMENT. So when I say I. DO. NOT. WANT. A. CARD. I mean it! I DO NOT want to be asked again!”

OK so who cares that I didn’t actually get treated for a shopping addiction nor did I get in any serious trouble when I did shop a lot. But I got my point across, right? No means no.

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4 thoughts on “Confessions of Fake Former Shopping Addict

  1. Part of the problem is that the retail stores pay their employees based on how many applications they get. Some will even fire you if you don’t get enough. Retail stores, especially chain brands like Banana Republic, Old Navy and Express are like meth dealers to people searching for a retail high.

    Stay clean, sister, stay clean.

    • Yeah I do remember when I worked retail that bonuses were involved for that sort of thing but luckily our jobs didn’t depend on it – I would have been fired on the spot and lost my precious discount. On second thought, maybe they should have fired me.

      I know some girls love to be begged. I’m not one of them!

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